• Hugh Hardy

Da ‘Cheap n Cheerful’ Mexican Strat… no ’55 Tele Content!


Heavily Modded Strat from South of the Border (2 borders, actually)


I just couldn’t resist when my pal Ronnie Dee offered me this Mexican Strat that he modded with 6100 SS frets, Mojotone steel pole pickups, new pots, blender wired, and locking Gotohs. Just a great axe! In fact, I’ll set up a 2nd pickguard so that I can use this guitar as a platform for my Fishman Fluence pickups. I heard Greg Koch play the Fishmans in a very intimate 20 person demo, and aside from his astounding playing and marvellous/gentlemanly personality, these pickups rocked… plus there was an absurdly low “show special price”… heck I woulda bought them anyway at twice the price!


But for me, there was a “deal-breaker” with this Strat… the impossible orange Urethane neck just felt horrible… sticky, and very unfriendly. Now, being a plastic finish, the only way to deal with it is to get out the sandpaper! So I started with the 100 grit and after 2 hours and 1 water blister later, I was down to a light sanding with 400 grit. So what we have here, if I may jump the gun a bit, is a pretty authentic looking – and feeling (smooth as a baby’s bum and really fast and friendly) “aged” neck. How did I do that?…



The Impossibly orange Urethane Neck Gets a Makeover


So here’s what I did to finish the back of the neck… I went out to the “back 40” with the Strat, and grabbed some wet earth… rubbed it into the neck… then I got some dirty grease from my garage door rollers (no word of a lie!) and rubbed it in… next, a single drop of brown Stew Mac stain… all massaged into the neck. For finish, I used Tung & Teak oil from Home Depot… being careful to let it dry… and then lightly steel wooling (#0000) and polishing between each of the 5 coats. And that’s it! I think it looks pretty authentic… but more importantly… it FEELS great!!!

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